Upcycled spring craft: egg carton birds in trees | the ReFab Diaries
As we all do our best to stay home, spring in the northern hemisphere is relentlessly springing up around us. And today is the start of "Spring Break" for my daughter's school district. This means she'll have no school obligations for the next 10 days, but all the fun that had been planned has been cancelled.


What to do? In my house, we continue to raid the recycling to make things. We saw a pic of these little spring birds in trees on Pinterest and here's our attempt at them. 


You'll need:
- toilet roll tubes
- firm cardboard (eg. a cereal box card)
- paper pulp egg box (not one made from plastic or styrofoam)
- poster or acrylic paint
- scissors
- fine black felt tip 

We followed a Jumble Tree tutorial to make these. Hop over to see her instructions and find lots of other fun egg carton and cardboard crafts.





STEP 1.

Mix up your green paint and paint a couple of tree tops. My daughter started on a piece of firm paper, but this was clearly not going to work. As listed above, you'll need firm cardboard - a cut-up cereal box is perfect.




STEP 2.

While your child is working on the tree tops, you can start turning the toilet roll tubes into tree trunks. Draw an oval about a third of the way down, then use narrow, pointed scissors to pierce through the card and cut it out.





STEP 3.

Flip over the treetops and paint the other side.  :)





STEP 4.


This is also a good time to mix up some brown paint and work on the tree trunks. While your child is doing this, you can get going on the steps below.





STEP 5.

Cut out several cones from your egg carton to make the little birds. For now, just worry about getting the cone bits out - you can figure out how much to cut them down later. You'll also need a few of the actual cup shapes from the carton, to make the nests. 




STEP 6.

Little fingers are useful when making tiny, egg carton birds! 




STEP 7.

Cut slots in the treetop to "build" your tree. Start short and narrow. Once you get a sense of how it looks, you can cut the slit wider, or deeper, as needed. 




STEP 8. 

The little egg cup nests need to be painted. My daughter wanted them "yellowish, orangish", so that's what you're seeing. Again, while they paint, you can cut the little shelves in the tree tops that will hold the nests. 




Hold one of the cups against the card and draw a light outline. You are not cutting along the bottom but you need that line for reference.

Using narrow scissors, start cutting at one of the bottom corners. Cut up, along the top, and then down. DON'T cut along the bottom. 




STEP 9.

Now, push and fold the flap out the back of your tree top. This makes a perfect little shelf for your nest. Check that your yellow nest fits. If not, cut down the nest a bit and/or trim and widen the hole. 




STEP 10. 

Make the birds. We made both baby birds and slightly bigger ones: cut the cones so they're about 3cm high for the big birds, 2cm for the babies.

Snip up any corner about 0.5cm, and then cut straight across three sides only, leaving one side for the tail feathers at the back. (OR, you might find it easier to cut up each corner about 0.5cm, fold out the four flaps, and then snip three of the flaps off, leaving one for the tail feathers)




STEP 11.

Use the fine black felt tip or gel pen, decorate the little birds. Draw wings, eyes and a 'V' on the tail. You could paint the wings and tail "feathers" different colors. We used a little yellow paint to give each bird a beak.




STEP 12.

Cut little slits up the sides of the birds and have fun perching them in the trees and nests. If you celebrate Easter, you could have some fun hiding eggs under these trees and in the nests.












I'd love to see YOUR creations! If you're on Instagram and you make one of these, please tag @refabbed. Or share a pic in the comments below.  :)





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